The Ego Of A Guitarist

Discussion in 'Music Talk' started by rust_in_pain, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. rust_in_pain

    rust_in_pain <:Rising Rockstar:>

    This is a must-read article 4 all that i found :-
    (shower reps if u like it)

    Your Ego, and Asserting Yourself.

    As guitar players, we are artists, and all artists have egos. Having an ego isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just your self-esteem, and having that is never a bad thing. Sometimes however, us guitar players, or any kind of artist will let our ego cloud our judgment, land we may assert ourselves too abrasively, or develop a bad attitude. We should all try to avoid this, so that we cannot only improve our own abilities, but so that we can teach and learn from one another.

    If you want to improve, one of the most important things you need is a good attitude. You need to be a realistic thinker, able to put things in perspective. The ego can cloud this, a great deal. When we want to improve, we in our own minds know that we are capable of what we’re trying to do. This makes us subliminally cut corners. We all do it. There are countless people who I see who think they can nail a solo or a lick or think they can play something they haven’t tried, because when they practice, they try to play the solo or lick in question, and they only hear what they want to hear. It happens. The key to getting past this is to listen closely, make sure every note is perfect, don’t think, “Oh, I can play that, just because I can’t play it right now I could if I wanted too, so I’ll skip that segment…” I’ve done this a few times and it’s not good. You’ll end up thinking you can play something when you can’t, and when the time comes to record the solo or play it for someone, you can’t do it. It’s even worse when you talk trash about how you can play it, which brings me to my next point.

    I know a lot of guitar players who talk trash. A LOT. Anyone who spends a decent amount of time on the Internet knows that deep down everyone has a little Mohammed Ali inside them. People like to bring other people down and it’s just the way the meatball bounces. Some people do it so that they can feel better about themselves, or out of peer pressure, it doesn’t matter you should try not to. Artists have so much pride, and in order to defend that pride, often times they will talk trash. There’s nothing wrong with defending yourself, posing and argument, or asking questions, but you have to try and be respectful and understanding at the same time. Not everyone has the same way of seeing things. Sometimes what might seem to you like an inferior perspective, actually is a much more open-minded way of looking at things. I’ve experienced this before, because I’m a cocky little braggart, haha.

    Now I’m going to tell you something very important. A hot debate topic I’ve found is about competition between musicians. Is it productive? Or meat headed? Well, from personal experience I can tell you, it can be one or the other. It’s all in how you go about it. I used to be a huge competition freak, it’s in my nature. Ever since I was young I’ve been very competitive to everyone around me, even family. When I first started playing guitar, I wanted to be the best. I had the worst attitude one can have when starting playing. I was falsely humble, asking for compliments, an awful trait that no one should develop, ever. I came close to losing friends, and while might not have lost friends, I certainly lost a lot of credibility and respect, something to this day I regret. This is the bad side of your ego. Don’t let it happen to you. There’s nothing wrong with having a rival, so long as you both are truly on the same level. Just make sure that this little rivalry is a civil one, that you both respect each other’s abilities, and try to learn from each other.

    Another thing I’ve seen a lot of is people who start talking about things they just don’t understand. There are too many players out there who want to be the wicked cool “self-taught” guitar wizard, who spend years playing the same thing without branching out or improving, and then after a long period of time decide that they know more about technique or theory than anyone. Don’t be one of them. Don’t tread waters that you haven’t mapped, make sure that if you critique someone, teach someone something, or try to explain something, that you’re on top of your game. The best way to do this, is to get yourself a teacher. A good teacher.

    Respect is something very important. Respect is something earned, and if you want to be respected, you need to respect people yourself. A good way to make sure you do this, is to never, ever name names when giving a critique. When you critisize another artist, I don’t care who, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kirk Hammet, all you’re doing is making yourself look bad to a large group of people. Sure, you’l have gained respect from some, but is it really worth it to put down anyone? Sure there are some artists who may be overrated, but what is there to gain from insulting other players? You gain nothing more than the praise of a few bedroom shredders, seriously. Tear down no one, you can’t lose. Don’t earn respect by hammering others with words, earn it by teaching and respecting. We all want to fit in with our guitar playing circles, and though it might be easy to make some quick friends by hammering someone else, you shouldn’t want friends who respect those who need to bring someone down to make themselves look good.

    Lastly, just take care of yourself. Respect others, and you’re bound to gain some respect in return. Just realize that sometimes things aren’t always as you see them, and put things in perspective. You’re not always going to be right obviously, no one is ever always right. Know that there will always be know-it-alls to crush your spirit, shred-heads who think they’re all that, and people who are just, really not nice. Whatever, respect them anyways, you can’t lose, and who knows? Maybe you might teach them something. Keep your ego in check, always strive to learn more, and know that no one is asking you to be perfect, you’ll make mistakes. Go on anyways, with respect, ambition, and a good attitude.
  2. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :&quot;(

    i read da whole of it :shock: liked it.. :)
  3. rust_in_pain

    rust_in_pain <:Rising Rockstar:>

    but i guess nobody else likes it :eek::
  4. dennis

    dennis The Bhangra King

    dude..i hate to be rude..but u seriously think someone wud read such a long post...i wudnt, even if my life depended on it
    KISS :p:
    (keep it short stupid :p: :) )
  5. rust_in_pain

    rust_in_pain <:Rising Rockstar:>

    its not my own so even i dont have the time to cut it short although every portion is essential for the topic.nobody's stupid to read it online,u can copy and read later.

    btw,subhro read tha whole of it and liked it
  6. Subhro

    Subhro Argentina lost :&quot;(

    he he chill rust :)
    dennis is right too... ppl hardly read such long posts.. me 2 fall in dat category.. :(
    but i thot dis post cud be intrstin.. so went 4 it.. and finishd readin da whole of it (dats an achievement !!) :p:
    nywayz.. i wasnt diasppointd.. its a nice post :)
  7. rust_in_pain

    rust_in_pain <:Rising Rockstar:>

    i m kool......
  8. death_metal_fan

    death_metal_fan oh goody, it's a woody!

    I thought this was pretty much commonsense...guess it wasn't and someone actually had to write an article to educate others about it! Nice find.

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